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Arrow of God Paperback – August 16, 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Arrow of God

"My favorite novel." —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Praise for Chinua Achebe
 
“A magical writer—one of the greatest of the twentieth century.” —Margaret Atwood
 
“African literature is incomplete and unthinkable without the works of Chinua Achebe.” —Toni Morrison                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 
“Chinua Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent.” —Nadine Gordimer
 
“Achebe’s influence should go on and on . . . teaching and reminding that all humankind is one.” —The Nation
 
“The father of African literature in the English language and undoubtedly one of the most important writers of the second half of the twentieth century.” —Caryl Phillips, The Observer
 
“We are indebted to Achebe for reminding us that art has social and moral dimension—a truth often obscured.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“He is one of the few writers of our time who has touched us with a code of values that will never be ironic.” —Michael Ondaatje
 
“For so many readers around the world, it is Chinua Achebe who opened up the magic casements of African fiction.” —Kwame Anthony Appiah
 
“[Achebe] is one of world literature’s great humane voices.” —Times Literary Supplement
 
“Achebe is one of the most distinguished artists to emerge from the West African cultural renaissance of the post-war world.” —The Sunday Times (London)
 
“[Achebe is] a powerful voice for cultural decolonization.” —The Village Voice
 
“Chinua Achebe has shown that a mind that observes clearly but feels deeply enough to afford laughter may be more wise than all the politicians and journalists.” —Time
 
“The power and majesty of Chinua Achebe’s work has, literally, opened the world to generations of readers. He is an ambassador of art, and a profound recorder of the human condition.” —Michael Dorris

From the Publisher

Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa's best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (August 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385014805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385014809
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Being Igbo, and having read almost all that Chinua Achebe has written, I can say that this is one of the best literary works I have ever come across. I read Arrow of God for the firs time when I was about fourteen and even at that age, it made a great impression on me. I have read it repeatedly over the years, and with each read, the raw reality of this book thinly veiled by what another reviewer reffered to as "polite prose" completely immersed me in Ezeulu's society, generation and struggle. This was a wonderful story written by one of the greatest story-tellers ever. I recommend this book and all of Chinua Achebe's work to any and everyone.
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By A Customer on March 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I know that many people have read Things Fall Apart, but that is not his greatest novel. I was not forced to read any of his books. I was just curious. It exposed me to some of the greatest literature I could ever have known. Arrow of God is by far my favorite Achebe book. So if you think Things Fall Apart is good, Arrow of God is so much deeper. You get to know the characters so much better. You feel like you are part of the scene. It is more personal. You see more into different people's lives. I read a lot of books. This one is one of my favorite.
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Format: Paperback
"Arrow of God" is another excellent novel by the world renowned Chinua Achebe. I have read this novel perhaps five times, having first read it decades ago. I still get thrilled and marvel at the ability of Chinua Achebe to tell a good story that keeps the reader wanting to read more. I have also read "Things Fall Apart" and "Man of the People", which are all excellent reading for those interested in African literature.

The story is set in a traditional Igbo village in Western Nigeria where the author traces how the age old traditions that had stood the test of time were systematically eroded by colonial rule. An important lesson we learn is that we need to change with the times and be adaptive to the constant changes, otherwise we perish.

This is a well written book by a remarkable author that is very interesting to read as well as enlightening.
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Format: Paperback
In response to our young friend who was so insidiously "forced" to read Mr. Achebe's works in a 10th-grade English class, I can say this: Since most products of American high schools are so terribly unaccustomed to thought, I'm afraid you really don't know (yet) what you're missing. My first experience with Mr. Achebe was "Things Fall Apart." My response, at age 15, was not much different than yours. However, the characters somehow stayed with me. Don't ask me why--perhaps I always wanted to know what happened to Okonkwo (I never finished it the first time). Ten years later, when I found the book in a Burlington, VT second-hand bookstore, I decided to try it again. Within weeks, I had read and re-read the simple, "polite" prose with great curiosity and awareness. Achebe doesn't fill his stories up with muck like so much MTV-style Hollywood mung. He asks something of his audience; writing about the bitter, yet ultimately unavoidable end to a cultural identity with which most anybody can sympathize. All the while, he refrains from employing flowery rhetoric and ambiguity, instead choosing honesty and simplicity. The message of his writings about the Ibo is, if anything, that nothing lasts forever. Thankfully, this means the MTV generation won't always need to be lead by the hand with flashy prose and speed-of-light transitions. Here's to the thinkers!!
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By A Customer on July 1, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like Chinua Achebe's first novel (Things Fall Apart), Arrow of God takes us back to the traditional village culture of the Igbo nation in Western Nigeria, tracing its destruction under British colonial rule. Once again, too, the story centers on a tribal elder who embodies the old ways so profoundly that he will be destroyed along with them. Achebe uses fiction to do what ethnology can never accomplish: to take us "inside" an indigenous culture, letting us see and feel how its customs and beliefs support the rhythms of daily living. With an extraordinary blend of sympathy and detachment, he captures the human tragedy in the destruction of a way of life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a complex book with several levels of meaning. On the surface, it seems to be a story of a traditional Nigerian priest dealing with the introduction of Christianity to his community and the tragic consequences. This is a story most of us are familiar with. On another level, the priest is Everyman, struggling to know what God wants of him. This book should be on the reading list of every college philosophy and religion class. It raises many questions about who decides what entity to worship, what our relationship is with God, how we view other religions. Then on another level, one suspects that the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature, is having a good time messing with our minds! It helps to read the Book of Ezekiel while reading Arrow of God. Only someone like Achebe, who was brought up a Christian amidst traditional Nigerian gods, standing with one foot in Africa and one in the West, could paint the big picture for us. Arrow of God is like American Jazz--it weaves many themes together. Of course American Jazz is based on traditional African music.
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